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What to do when you're directed to sign a lease on an different apartment than what you saw and that needs renovations?

New York, NY |

When meeting the broker to sign leases, he showed us 2C which was the same layout as 3C but was available sooner because the tenants had been evicted. The agent reassured us that the owner had agreed to replace broken windows, paint the walls, fix every door-post, and polish the floors. There are places in the floor and wall that need to be replaced; we never got to speak to the landlord and do not know if those will be included in the reno. The floor looks like it's water damaged and has started to welt, maybe even with mold underneath.
The agent wouldn't let us add a contingency clause to the lease or rider, but we are not sure the landlord will fix the issues in time or properly. Everything is not complete with the process; I'm very uneasy about this situation. What can I do?

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Attorney answers 3


Dear New York Tenant:

The landlord is not bound by the oral representations made by the broker. You need the repair and renovations detailed in the lease. If you cannot gain a written commitment included with the lease walk away because you will not have legal proof otherwise.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.


Run - do not walk - away from this broker, he cannot be trusted.

I'm just 3 "helpful" answers away from a free toaster-oven! I may be guessing or not licensed in your state. No atty/client relationship exists.


I agree with my colleagues. The Landlord cannot be bound by promises the broker makes with regard to such things without an addendum on the lease stating the same.

It sounds like the broker is more interested in the fee than your welfare. Seek another broker, or, if you wish to avoid broker's fees altogether (and brokers as well), contact property management companies directly via their websites, or seek no-fee listings on curbed,, trulia or similar sites.

Best of luck.

This does not constitute legal advice or the engagement of my services as an attorney.

Glenn Johnston

Glenn Johnston


some good sites for non-broker apartment hunting also include:,,,